GA-ASI Flies First Production MQ-9A Reaper with Enhanced Strategic Reconnaissance Capabilities

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has flown the first production MQ-9A Multi-Domain Operations (M2DO)-ready variant of the US Air Force’s MQ-9A Reaper drone. The upgraded MQ-9A Block 5 drone, also known as the “-25”, includes a number of new features that will enable the integration and fielding of Open Mission Systems (OMS) as well as new sensors that will expand the drone’s strategic reconnaissance capabilities. Some of these features include improved power distribution and redundancy, GPS improvements, radar altimeters, nose wheel steering and angle of attack (AOA) sensor system improvements.

The US Air Force and US Marine Corps will both receive these improved MQ-9A Block 5 “-25” M2DO-ready aircraft under current contracts, although the total number of aircraft receiving these improvements has not been disclosed. GA-ASI Vice President of USAF Programs, Claudia Mowery, said: “We’re excited to position the MQ-9A enterprise for new missions through these capabilities. Future funding could potentially expand these capabilities to the entire MQ-9A fleet.”

About GA-ASI

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator® RPA series and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar. With more than seven million flight hours, GA-ASI provides long-endurance, mission-capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent flight that enables situational awareness and rapid strike. The company also produces a variety of ground control stations and sensor control/image analysis software, offers pilot training and support services, and develops meta-material antennas.

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